In this page, I will list the different equipment I own, give a description for each, while sharing my personal experience with each piece of equipment.
Canon EOS 6D
After almost a year with the T3i, and after buying some fullframe lenses, I was ready to upgrade to a fullframe camera, and I found the Canon 6D to be a great and affordable option. Offering incredible ISO performance (very clean up to 10k ISO, very useable all the way up to 25600), the Canon 6D pushes low-light photographer to an entirely new level. This is really great to have for event photographer and other places where you don’t control the light. The image quality is very good, and the extra controls makes it easier and quicker to change most settings.
The build quality is definitely better than the T2i/T3i cameras.
What do I miss from the T3i? The tilty-swivelly screen, and the 3-10x video zoom mode. The swivel screen can be replaced by an external monitor, but the 3x-10x video zoom mode is going to be greatly missed, and also means I’ll have to keep my T3i around for years to come.
Find out more about the Canon 6D at the following links:
Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009B0MZ8U/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B009B0MZ8U&link_code=as3&tag=sj0c-20
Amazon (Canada): http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00AI1WJWI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=212553&creative=381305&creativeASIN=B00AI1WJWI&link_code=as3&tag=sj02-20
Canon EOS Rebel T3i
I needed a second camera for a shoot, and what sold me on the T3i is the 3x to 10x zoom feature in movie mode. The amazing part of this feature is the 3x mode gives you a 1080p video with full resolution, meaning this isn’t some digital zoom that distorts the image. This takes the center pixels of the sensor to create a full 1080p video, and helps solve some of the issues with moiré and other weird DSLR issues. Zoomed up to 5x, I find the videos quite pleasing still, but at 10x it’s starting to show as a digitally zoomed video. Great for “emergencies” when there’s no other way to get the shot, but I wouldn’t consider it for a professional shoot.
Just like the T2i, this has an 18 megapixel sensor, but adds manual audio controls and swivel-screen, making it the ideal starter HDSLR for videographers.
It also has some features I may or may not need in the future, such as built-in wireless flash control, which would be great if I ever buy a flash unit which can be controlled wirelessly.
It’s lightweight, it’s cheap, and it has a good image quality.
Canon EOS Rebel T2i
This camera, which is quite large compared to a superzoom, but quite small compared to its more professional DSLR relatives, gives quite a big bang for the buck. While the Canon 5d mark II is better known for having started the DSLR revolution in the movie industry, bringing “affordable” high quality images to the “masses”, the T2i brought a similar set of features and quality to a more budget savvy crowd.
I’ve had a lot of great times with this camera, and it remains my go-to camera whenever I get a chance to use it. Everything about this camera is modest, from the 18 megapixel sensor to the auto gain compensation in the video. But it does offer manual controls for video, and the performance at 1080p is quite acceptable for most situations. A few of these T2i cameras created footage that made their way on the silver screen, and is definitely a good starting point for anyone looking in a good affordable DSLR or HDSLR.
Of special note is the 7x crop movie mode it brings, which only gives you 480p performance, but can turn a 300mm lens into a (300mm x 1.6 x 7) 3360mm monster.
The T3i that replaces it offers manual audio controls, and a flip screen. It also replaced the 7x crop mode 480p by a 3x crop mode 1080p offering even better image quality.
The new T4i brings a touch screen flip screen, along with 9 cross point focusing system, and a special hybrid system for video. Combine with the new Stepping Motor (STM) lenses, the T4i promises great auto-focus in video.
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
This 18-55mm is the basic kit lens that usually comes bundled with the Canon T2i listed above. It is not the sharpest lens I own, but more often than not, it is definitely sharp enough. The aperture is fine for daytime, but in low-light situations it starts to fall behind a bit. With the IS, I am able to take steady shots at 18mm at 1/2 sec, but finding a subject that moves slow enough for that kind of exposure is not always possible. As a lens to start out with, though, it does a great job, and I have no issues recommending it.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
For a very long time, this was my favourite lens. This lens has many nicknames, from the plastic fantastic to the 99$ lens, the price at which it sold for a very long time. While the construction of this lens is nothing impressive, and the auto-focus is a bit on the slow side, this lens offers amazing image quality and a great f/1.8 aperture. If you see a video of me filmed with the T2i on a tripod, chances are that’s the lens I’m filming with. This is probably the best value you can get for your money, and at 99$ (or probably 130$ now), its a lens that everyone should consider.
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III
This lens is the shame of the Canon EF lens family. I’m quite disappointed that Canon still has it for sale. The images coming from this lens are extremely soft, and the auto-focus is very slow and misses quite a lot. If there is one lens that I would recommend you to skip over, its this one. Go for the 55-250mm IS lens instead, or go for the Tamron SP 70-300mm.
Tamron SP 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD
After cursing after my Canon 75-300m III lens for about 2 years, I finally saved up enough to upgrade to this Tamron SP 70-300mm. What a difference it made! The image quality is quite good, and the Vibration Control from Tamron is quite impressive. My regular shooting speed at 300m is 1/50 secs, and at that speed, I can get tact sharp photos most of the time. The VC option is also quite handy while taking videos, as you can see the VC grab the image and just freeze it into place. It also has an Ultrasonic Drive auto-focus system which is quick, accurate, and quiet. It also sports a full-time manual (FTM) feature, allowing you to fine-tune the focus without having to switch to manual focus mode.
Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
Since I bought this lens, it almost never leaves my camera. The 24-70mm focal length is extremely useful in a wide variety of situations. Now that I upgraded to a fullframe camera, the 24mm end is much wider, which I like. The Vibration Control is extremely useful both in photos and videos, and the USM autofocus is quick, accurate, and quiet.